Over 200 cyclists turn up for Milwaukee’s second annual World Naked Bike Ride 2022

The weather did not deter motorcyclists from showing up and showing off for Milwaukee’s second annual World Naked Bike Ride on Saturday.

As the clouds rolled in over the city, over 200 riders still gathered to celebrate the city’s nudist event in the summer. The optional garment, “just as you dare” bike ride began at. 4pm, with the route past the Milwaukee Art Museum, War Memorial Center and around Lakeshore State Park twice.

“This is a rain or shine event. So unless there’s a tornado in town, we’re driving!” the organizers told the participants prior to the event.

The Milwaukee Naked Bike Ride joins a worldwide movement that has taken place in over 200 cities from London to Madison. The event was first held in 2004 in Canada and was created by social activist, filmmaker and author Conrad Schmidt to protest against oil addiction and to celebrate the human body.

The message has since been simplified. “Love your body, love yourself” and “Less gas, more ass” are the popular slogans for the new generation of naked riders.

“I feel honored to be here,” said Kurt Ide, a Milwaukee resident who attended the city’s first tour last year. “We all come together forever. There is so much negative in this world, so we come together as a community (against) big oil companies and to promote equality.”

The city bike ride attracted more than just locals. Mark Hartman, a 64-year-old resident of Florida, has participated in nude bike rides in Madison, Austin, Chicago and New Orleans.

“The best thing about it is to see the reactions from the spectators. A lot of them are expecting us, and this tour is obviously well underway,” Hartman said. “With some other rides, you surprise people. The funniest thing I’ve ever seen, which was last week in Madison, was a guy who covered this kid’s eyes with one hand and filmed us with the other!

Organizer John Jankowski first participated in a World Naked Bike Ride in St. Louis. Louis, where event leaders place great emphasis on body acceptance. After seeing their turn in action, he realized it was just the kind of movement Milwaukee needed. And admittedly there was interest from the residents.

Jankowski and his team of volunteers worked for over a year to put together a safe route, plan event celebrations and find a place to host cyclists. They have already started preparing for next year.

“We are very transparent. There are other bike rides around the country that start in an alley or start in someone’s backyard. You get that kind of cheeky feeling,” Jankowski explained. “We are not about that. When I started this, you can see the name, the location, the date. We are inclusive of all. There are people from all walks of life who are nudists! “

The pre-ride event held at the Enlightened Brewing Company featured yoga, a live band and especially over a dozen local vendors.

Rachel Duggan, a Milwaukee-based illustrator and owner of RADillustrates, decided to set up a booth at the event to offer her bespoke “booty” portraits. Duggan noted that the event seemed to have the perfect clientele for her business, even though she was more accustomed to receiving photo references than real-life models.

“This is my first nudist event … Typically, at the events I do, people want to wear their favorite jeans or a dress. For nude portraits, they order online,” Duggan said. “But people are so comfortable here, and I’ve been made to feel comfortable no matter how I dress or undress. “

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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: World Naked Bike Ride 2002 comes to Milwaukee

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